Selective Migration and Mortality in a Socially Deprived Area of Denmark, 1968-2017

Therese Holmager, University of Copenhagen
Elsebeth Lynge, Nykøbing Falster Hospital

Background Lolland-Falster is an area in south-eastern Denmark characterized by low life expectancy, low socioeconomic status and unhealthy lifestyle. To determine the origin of poor health in Lolland-Falster we investigated mortality in people migrating to and from Lolland-Falster. Methods For each person ever living in Denmark from 2 April 1968, we used data from the Danish Central Population Register on date of birth, sex, address history, date of migrating and date of death, 1968-2017. We divided the analysis into 10-year periods, using Poisson regression to compare the Mortality Rate Ratio (MRR) of permanent residents, out-migrants, and in-migrants in Lolland-Falster. Danes living outside Lolland-Falster were used as the reference population. Results In 1968-1977, permanent residents in Lolland-Falster had the same MRR as people in the rest of Denmark. The MRR for permanent residents in Lolland-Falster increased over time and was statistical significantly higher than for the rest of Denmark from 1988-1997 onwards. The MRR for in- and out-migrants was statistical significantly higher than for permanent residents in Lolland-Falster throughout the study period. Conclusion Both in- and out-migrants in Lolland-Falster had a higher mortality than permanent residents did. A rough estimation based on the MRR and percentages of in- and out-migrants every 10-year period, showed that selective migration, alone, could not explain the increase in MRR for permanent residents in Lolland-Falster compared with people in the rest of Denmark.

Presented in Session 7: Internal migration and the segregation of migrants